Old Shell Gas Pumps - Premium and Regular - Gas Mileage

Improve Your Gas Mileage

Improving gas mileage is simple. Follow the recommendations below, and you will save money and increase the life of your vehicle. As with anything related to your car or truck, regular maintenance and oil changes are necessary to achieve top performance.

Gas Mileage Thieves

Incorrect Tire Pressure:  You can find an inexpensive pressure gauge like this one (pic) and periodically check your tire pressure.  The manufacturers recommended pressure levels are on the driver’s side doorplate.  Don’t use the “Maximum Pressure” numbers on the tire.

Tire Gauge - Gas Mileage

Bad Oxygen Sensors: Replacing malfunctioning sensors can improve your gas mileage by as much as 10%.  Oxygen Sensors regulate the mixture of air and fuel and are generally rated to be replaced at 100,000 miles. Make sure you have a mechanic perform diagnostics to be certain that this is the issue.

Poor Air Filtering: Ensuring that Air Filters are unclogged can improve your mileage per gallon by as much as 20%.

Broken Spark Plugs: Make sure the spark plugs are firing correctly.

Spark Plug - Gas Mileage

Leaking Fuel Injectors:  You’ll want to confirm the functioning of your fuel injectors to ensure they aren’t negatively affecting your gas mileage.

Low Quality Motor Oil: The wrong motor oil can affect your gas mileage up to 12%.  Make sure you choose an oil that is high in reducing friction.

Loose Gas Caps: Check that your Gas Cap is screwed on tight.

Driving Habits

  • Accelerate and break steadily.
  • Drive the speed limit.
  • Use cruise control on the highways.
  • Idling wastes fuel. It takes only 30 seconds to warm up the engine. Also, if you are waiting for someone, put the car in neutral.

Before You Buy

If you’re looking for a new or used car, you can go to this site to check on the fuel economy of the Model by year:  http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.shtml.

Winter Driving – What it takes to be safe and prepared

Winter Driving – Make a List, Check it Twice

Battery

No one wants to be stranded with no battery power and no jumper cables. Keep the necessary supplies with you, and check battery life before any winter driving. If you don’t have a multimeter or voltmeter, bring it to your auto repair shop for a full pre-winter driving check.

Fuel

Running out of gas isn’t too bad in the summer because, worst case scenario, you can wait for a friend to bring over a couple gallons. In the winter, though, you’ll need some way to keep warm during that wait. Fuel is what allows your car to run and blow nice, cozy, hot air. So, don’t let the needle get to the “E.” In fact, keep it above a quarter tank if possible.

Coolant / Antifreeze

Always keep a 50-50 ratio of water to coolant in the radiator. Some may say, “Just go all in! 100% coolant!” But, the mix of water and coolant has a lower freezing point which is especially necessary for the cold season. When in doubt, check the freeze rating of the coolant you use at the gas station or by purchasing a device from your local auto part shop.

Tires

Does it really matter to have snow tires when you have all-wheel or four-wheel drive? Yes. Just because your car is built for somewhat inclement weather doesn’t mean seasonal tires won’t give you increased efficiency and control. Most cars encounter 30% better braking power with the right tires for winter. Also, tire pressure is critical. Your tires are rated for a particular pressure level, so keep it in that range. If you’re unsure, have the shop regulate it for you to be extra safe.

Windshield Wipers

No one wants to be stuck in the middle of a downpour or snowstorm with old, poor-functioning wipers. Take a look at them as the seasons change, and replace them if needed. Glaring sun that’s lower on the horizon also means you want your windshield nice and clean for good visibility.

Defroster

Obstructed views through any vehicle window is illegal in most states. Confirm that your defroster is functioning properly before it causes you to be late for work. This way, when your local police officer drives by, you’ll get a smile instead of spinning lights.

Brakes

Have the shop look at your brakes so you’ll be set regardless of what mother nature throws at you. Know if you have anti-lock brakes or not because that changes how you’re supposed to drive in inclement weather which we’ll talk about next.

Take it Slow, Rudolph

Driving in the snow and ice is dangerous. If you can avoid it, do. But, if you must do some winter driving, follow these tips and techniques to be as safe as possible.

Use Snow Tires

Why? All-wheel or four-wheel drive are just helpful mechanisms but don’t guarantee the amount of traction needed for all bad weather. As stated earlier, you’ll have close to 30% better braking power with the proper tires.

Drive Slowly

When it’s snowing outside or there’s ice on the roads, passing should not be anyone’s highest priority. Make sure to leave plenty of space between you and other drivers and slow down before getting to intersections. That way, the light may turn green by the time you arrive so you don’t have to stop completely and start from a standstill. For the same reason, keep inertia for going uphill and brake lightly on the way down.

Know Your Brakes

Stomp on antilock brakes, pump on non-antilock brakes. Also, don’t use your emergency/parking brake if you can avoid it because it’s at a high risk of freezing when implemented.

Warming Up Your Car – Yes or No?

Some people think you must heat up the car before it can drive well. That’s not true. These days, cars are more technologically advanced and no longer rely on the engines being warmed up to go. However, it may help to have heat involved for defrosting. If you are going to heat up the car for this or any other reason, don’t do so in an enclosed space. This will prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

A Few Last Notes—

Always get enough sleep before taking the wheel, have a designated driver if you’re drinking, and keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians.

Winter driving may be daunting, but the necessary preparations go a long way to keep you and everyone else safe.

Duramax Transmissions is here for you, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at (503)363-6888 or Click Here to Contact Us.

Happy Holidays and Safe Driving!

Old Car with Gear shift on the column - Manual Transmissions, Automatic Transmissions

Automatic or Manual Transmission?

Automatic transmission vehicles are becoming the most common to drive, while manual transmissions are going more out of style. First we’ll look at the main differences then some common myths surrounding the debate of automatic vs. manual transmissions.  This will help you decide what’s best for you.

Manual Transmission

A manual transmission is controlled via the stick shift and clutch. You change gears by pushing in the clutch and moving the stick shift to the appropriate gear. In the 1940s vehicles typically had only 3 gears, but now they commonly have 6, or even 7 for many sports cars. Learning to drive a manual transmission is a bit more tricky, but once you do you can drive almost any vehicle in the world.  This is particularly useful for countries where manual transmissions are the primary type of car. Also, most people find manuals more engaging to drive.

Automatic Transmission

Automatics used to only be available in luxury model cars.  Now they’re more common than manuals and are available at a similar price point. There are two types of automatic transmission, hydraulic and dual-clutch. Both change gears without requiring anything from the driver, although now many automatics now allow you to choose gears as well. It is more difficult to stall an engine with an automatic transmission and it tends to make for smoother driving, particularly in stop-and-go traffic.
Manual Transmissions - Automatic Transmissions
Myths

  1. Manuals get better fuel mileage. This used to be the case, but with advancing technology some automatics are now even surpassing manuals in fuel efficiency.
  2. Manual vehicles cost less. While this still holds true for most models, it isn’t always the case. Some vehicle models cost the same whether they have automatic or manual transmission. And today over 50% are not even produced with manual transmissions.
  3. Automatic transmission is always an option. There are a small group of specialized vehicles that are only produced with manual transmissions, such as the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 or Ford Focus RS. Your dream car may not have an automatic option.

Which should you choose?

If you have the choice, the type of transmission you should drive depends mostly on your driving style and commute, but let’s face it, what you enjoy driving plays a huge part in your decision. If you have to go through a lot of stop-and-go traffic, an automatic is probably a better choice since you don’t have to constantly step on the clutch and shift. If you’re looking for a more dynamic experience, a manual transmission is the most interesting and fun to drive, which makes it good for longer distances. Maintenance costs are similar on both types. Although it’s typical for automatic transmissions to be easier to maintain, it really depends on the vehicle.

Do your research, check the cost of the car & maintenance; and, ultimately, choose the car that fits your lifestyle and that you will enjoy driving!